Archive for August, 2011

Ok, listen up you mob, time for some simple housekeeping.

At great expense, the ’email subscription’ button has been moved up in the right hand column, just over there. We hope to enhance your customer experience (oh yeah!) and lifestyle choices. Click on that button and you will automatically receive, free of charge, an email of the latest exciting posts on KC. How easy and cool is that! Pathetic really that KC’s marketing department suggested those two words to get your attention, but hey let’s go with the modern flow.

If you have any problems or comments, please let us know. We love feedback. But if you can’t handle the subscription button then you really have been spoonfed in a previous life, and need to take responsibility for this one.

Whilst on the subject of  responsibility, our ethical readers may be surprised (or not) to learn that others discover KC by googling words about naked little boys & sex. A salutary lesson about the power of the internet, since it relates to a Nov 2009 post on Sculptures by the Sea and controversy around a fibreglass sculpture of a small boy. KC editors considered removing the item from our online archives, but self-censorship is a slippery slope, if we’re always fearful of dreaded paedophiles. And in this case, the last laugh is on them anyway. But you guys (mostly men, I suppose!) had better watch out, as we could consider discussing your ‘looks’ with Kookynie’s finest (constabulary, that is).

Meantime, everybody else please settle back and enjoy the KC ride (by bicycle or shanks pony only) through these troubling but endlessly fascinating times. As my dear ol’ dad would say, you wouldn’t be dead for quids!

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Joining dots in our free-markets (free-for-all) world does not always need those dismal science practitioners known as economists, who are mainly still peddling so-called neo-liberalism. Observation and common sense suffice.

Bluescope Steel has announced a year end loss of $118m and shedding 1000 jobs from its Australian steel-making operations, citing the high Aussie dollar and loss of markets. BHP Billiton, on the other hand, announced a record $22.5 billion profit (double last year) despite the impacts of Queensland floods, etc. Unsurpisingly the fates of those two companies are inextricably linked.

Nobody could possibly consider the BHP Billiton result as ‘super profit’ surely? As for trying to tax it more, tell ‘em they’re dreamin’. Miners only had to share a measly $20m anti-tax ad campaign to protect those torrents of obscene profits flowing from our common wealth…..remember the origin of it! Mike Carlton’s take on Nauru’s mining boom is useful.

But I digress. As we know BHP is heavily involved in mining and shipping out large lumps of Australian iron ore and coal, largely to China. Cleverly, the Chinese then make steel and turn it into stuff that we all like to buy cheaply. Steel that is not transformed is also sold and shipped to Australia, including to our mining companies, for use in their infrastructure construction.

This totally unpredictable development appears to have caught our political leaders by surprise, but don’t worry, they’ve got a plan. They’re gunna ask the mining companies if they wouldn’t mind ‘buying Australian’ steel. Sounds like Dick Smith’s old campaign for selling peanut butter, and it’s bound to work.

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Kookynie does not have a significant Jewish population, in fact it doesn’t have much of a population at all, but we are monitoring events in Sydney’s Ku-ring-gai where a proposal to erect an Eruv was knocked back by their Council.

Now, this Eruv caper is a great idea, which may have other applications. Normally orthodox Jews are not allowed to carry (or push, you smart alecs!) objects (or kids) outside their homes on Shabbat or Jewish Sabbath, which inconveniently falls every Saturday. To overcome this annoying obstacle to modern life, the rabbinically-approved solution is to string up wires around the neighbourhood to re-define a kinda symbolic communal area as a larger home, where one can apparently ignore the rules with impunity and a clear conscience. In Ku-ring-gai this would’ve involved installing 36 poles and joining wires on private and public land. Honestly, God must be having a giggle!

On a recent study tour to multicultural Bondi we observed the operation of an Eruv that cleverly includes the beach and golf course fence.  Cost is minimal, and its retro appeal is reminiscent of old-style telegraph wires. It inspired us back in Kookynie.

Using old fencing wires, a viagra-like project is under way to revitalise the town by erecting them on our poles. Thus creating WA’s first Outback Eruv.  Ours will be multi-purpose all-faith, or indeed non-faith: defining a space where everyone is free to ignore inconvenient personal principles at leisure on Saturdays, as long as nobody is harmed.  Kookynie will remain a model of civic solidarity and attract visitors eager to share a unique experience. Gut shabbes!

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The execrable Libyan despot Muammar Gaddafi (still only a colonel?) has thrown the switch to vaudeville, announcing a tactical retreat from his Tripoli compound, as rebel forces take control of the capital and the rest of Libya. His location is unknown but he has encouraged ‘loyal’ followers to fight to the end/death, as he no doubt prepares to lead them from somewhere way behind – in some desert fastness, on the way to Chad maybe, or Venezuela to catch up with his old mate Hugo. 

If he wasn’t such a vicious criminal it could be comedic, as his penchant for dressing up in colourful gowns and funny headdresses has prepared him for this final act, where he adopts a stance reminiscent of the Black Knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail. One doubts however that he would have the physical courage of the poor BK, who progressively sacrificed his own limbs to swordplay in a losing fight.  The difference is that we feel sorry for the knight, but Gaddafi will hopefully survive to be tried in his own country or in The Hague for crimes against humanity. The million pound bounty offered by Libya’s new leaders for Gaddafi’s capture dead-or-alive may bring on the denouement.

The Libyan rebels shown on news coverage have seemed normal (non-fundamentalist) and worthy of our hopes for a peaceful transition to something approaching democracy. Imagine their relief, getting rid of this shameful figurehead and international pariah after 40 years of repression and humiliation.

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Return of the Eagle

Well, after an 18 months hiatus triggered off by family bereavement, followed by some distracting travels, laziness and a sense that the world had become fully ‘sick’, in both youth coolspeak and maybe literally, the wedge-tailed eagle (see About) is back.

Actually the place for cutting-edge sarcasm and irony seems to have been taken by mainstream media and real events*. The latest local example is a bunch of semi-trailer truck drivers crossing the country (imagine the carbon foot/roadprint of these behemoths travelling from WA), calling for the Federal government to be removed with its carbon tax, and their form of ‘democracy’ restored.

I think that means putting back the traditional two-party form of tyranny known as Lib-Lab, where there is only a different approach to trying to hold onto power at any cost. What the truckies and their Alan Jones haven’t accepted is that the last elections actually clearly signalled that many electors were dissatisfied with both major parties, and voted enough Greens and independants to hold a real ‘balance of power’ when they moved as a bloc.

That’s democracy, folks, so get used to it. Actually a voting system based on proportional representation would of course give minor parties more of a voice and truly reflect the electorate’s wishes, but that’s a rave for another day.

Meantime, thank you to all those thousands of readers who have been imploring us to return KC to its rightful place in the media pantheon, and particularly as the mooted media enquiry and decline of the Murdoch empire leaves a big space and opportunity in this Wide Brown Media Land.


(Actually eagle-eyed readers will notice that this is in fact a black-shouldered kite, but its rather cute anyway)

*Tom Lehrer’s famous quote that irony died when Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize comes to mind again.

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